The Next Time a Republican Brings Up the Need for “Small Government” — Show Them This

briberyThe role of government is one that’s always a hotly debated topic.  Liberals often lean towards “more government” while conservatives make the claim that they’re the party of “small government”—which is of course laughable.

I have never understood those who see the government as the enemy yet big business as the answer.

Let me break it down simply.

Government is a grouping of elected officials that are put in their specific offices by winning elections.  These people, good or bad, do not obtain whatever position of power they occupy without being put there by the voting public.

Many who oppose “big government” do so because they claim government is inefficient, corrupt and inhibits growth.

These people believe the betterment of our nation is best served by handing it over to the private sector and removing government altogether.

My question to these people is simple: What makes government inefficient and corrupt?  

The most common answer: Politicians.

Which I follow up with: Well, what makes politicians inefficient and corrupt?  

The most common answer:  Special interests and money.

Then I follow that with: Then tell me, what controls the special interests and money which makes these politicians, and in turn our government, inefficient and corrupt?  

This is where they usually get stumped.  But the answer is pretty simple and obvious.

Wealthy donors and big business.

But wait, I thought advocates for “small government” claim that our economic prosperity is best served by giving more power to those who already have power (the wealthy and big business)?   How can our best chance at economic success be found by giving unchecked (and unregulated) power over to the very same people and big businesses which, by using their money and influence, make our government corrupt and inefficient?

Doesn’t the fact that these people use their power and money to make our government corrupt and inefficient prove that if they were allowed to sidestep government altogether (by way of a smaller government with fewer regulations) they would then become even more corrupt than they currently are?

Currently they have to answer to politicians which in turn, through elections, do have a responsibility to answer to voters.  Yet without government regulations, these people and businesses would have the flood gates opened to do whatever they wanted, when they wanted and how they wanted.

After all, isn’t that why they pump so much money into government in the first place?  To buy politicians, which will support policies that benefit them?

Do these “small government” advocates really think that by removing government oversight governing these rich and powerful people and businesses, they’ll suddenly behave more morally and ethically?

These people are kidding, right?

Because let’s face it, most regulations and laws currently exist because some business, person or entity abused the system before they were put into place.  We only have child labor laws because businesses exploited children.  We only have laws which require safe working conditions because companies were putting employees at risk.  We only have laws which prevent big tobacco from gearing ads towards children because big tobacco was creating ads which targeted children.

These laws weren’t crafted because someone said, “Screw you, I want more laws!”  They were passed because someone, or something, took advantage of a system that hadn’t prevented the unscrupulous or unethical behavior.

And these same people, businesses or entities spent (or are spending) millions upon millions of dollars to lobby politicians, and in turn our government, to either prevent these laws from being passed or to have them repealed.

So they can continue unethical and unscrupulous behavior.

It’s just never made any sense to me that while we have a government which is often full of crap, those with positions of power are only there because we voted for them.  At least at the end of the day, and the end of their term, they are only given power by the voters.

We as Americans just can’t seem to get beyond mostly electing morons.  We elect the very people we claim we can’t stand.  The candidate who raised the most money, ran the dirtiest campaign and manipulated the most voters by telling people what they want to hear instead of the truth.

Then we have millions of Americans who complain about politicians, rally against our government — which are both made inefficient and corrupt by big business and money in politics — saying our best course of action is…

Deregulating the very people and businesses that are making our government inefficient and corrupt.

It makes absolutely zero sense.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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